Somali youth ready to migrate to Europe despite perils

Mohamed Khadar is one of the many young Somalis who are ready to join the mass immigration across the Mediterranean Sea despite the perils he will face.

“Going to Europe is a means to escape from poverty,” the 19- year-old old Khadar told Xinhua in Mogadishu on Saturday.

Living in a country which has no a functioning government with prolonged insecurity and violence, Khadar determines to gamble his life crossing a burning desert, harsh climate and arduous journey to reach Europe.

Khadar who was under the last minute preparation of his hazardous journey heading to Europe said his mission was to seek for a better life.

When asked whether he was fully aware of the risks and suffering await to reach the shores of European countries, the teenager replied, “Anyone who lives in this hopelessness and harsh conditions of poverty that exist here will have no alternative but to look for a better life, no matter where it is on the earth.”

He added, “I will hit the road soon. The worst scenario will be death and I am ready to face it.”

He complained about the terrible life in Somalia, saying that his increasing financial difficulties forced him to take this desperate action.

The desperation felt by Khadar is a shared feeling of many Somali youth, an attitude that will never change until they experience the suffering.

The refugee crisis in Europe has been simmering for years, but it now appears to be boiling over amid political and economic instability in Africa and the Middle East and cutbacks on patrols in the often-rough Mediterranean Sea that separates Africa from Europe.

Thousands of Somalis have drowned when their boat capsize in the Mediterranean in recent years.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR estimated that 60,000 refugees made it to Europe in 2013 and that the number jumped to at least 170, 000 in 2014.

As many as 500,000 are estimated to make the trip this year. Processing centers are overwhelmed, and the busiest months for arrivals – traditionally from May through August – have begun.

Abdi Jamac had journeyed through the desert between Libya and Sudan in an attempt that only ended up with kidnapping.

“I buried five friends of mine with my hands in the desert between Libya and Sudan,” Jamac told Xinhua of his heroic tale to Xinhua.

“We were more than 30 people in a small Toyota Land Cruiser car. The space available was not adequate for ten passengers let alone 30 people. The climate was very hot. To make matters worse, there was food and water shortage,” he added.

Jamac said they were kidnapped immediately when they arrived in Libya by abductors who demanded a 3,000 U.S. dollar ransom from their parents.

“We were taken captive for six months but after my release, I realized harsh circumstance I was running away from is far better than the life I am looking forward to live in the future,” Jamac lamented.

“I eventually decided to return to my country where I left and there is no place like my country to satisfy my needs” Jamac said.

Despite the warnings from people like Jamac, the flows of immigrations to Europe will go on until the problems of high unemployment and insecurity are tackled in Somalia and in many other African countries.

No matter how Europeans try to take preventive measures to stop the mass immigration of Africans towards their continent, people like Khadar, will never stop their desire to look for a better life until they find secured life in their homeland.